Four Forms in Value

After half a semester, I finally get to delve into value (shading). It's good to get a nice foundation to the drawing because it helps to get your brain thinking correctly. In this assignment, we had to arrange four basic forms in a composition and then render them out. There is a specific order to rendering in charcoal that I have found helpful to know about:

First using vine charcoal, you layout your forms and shadows. Vine charcoal is the lightest of all charcoals and will erase and rub away easily. After you have roughed out your line work, you trace over the vine charcoal slowly with a darker charcoal pencil. This will be visible after the next step, which it to take the side of your vine charcoal and completely cover your drawing at about a 20% gray. This gives you the midtone value of your drawing. Next, using a chamòis, you rub the entire drawing to blend everything in. After you have done this, you render in the shadow side of your object with vine charcoal to about an 80% gray. (Don't work on the cast shadows yet.) Since the back side of your objects will pick up some reflected light, the shadow side is not completely black. After you have established the shadow, put in the core shadow using a charcoal pencil. The core shadow is the most perpendicular portion of the object in relation to the light that is cast. It receives no direct light and therefore is darker than the shadow side of your object. After this is completed, fill in the cast shadows to about an 80-90% gray. Don't make them 100% black or else it will look as though your object is falling into a hole. After all this, take your kneaded eraser and pull out the highlights of your objects. At this point, you have established your five basic values from light to dark and can begin to blend all the shades together to make a finished drawing.

If you have no idea what I just said above, take an art class. I just didn't feel like doing a how-to explanation this time around. Here are the results for this week:

Next up I get to work on three drawings like these with the human form. Fun stuff.

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